bell hooks, PhD, is an American author, feminist, and social activist whose writing has focused on the interconectivity of race, capitalism, and gender and what she describes as their ability to produce and perpetuate systems of oppression and class domination.
She has published more than 30 books and numerous scholarly and mainstream articles, appeared in several documentary films, and participated in various public lectures. Primarily through a postmodern perspective, hooks has addressed race, class, and gender in education, art, history, sexuality, mass media and feminism.
Born Gloria Jean Watkins, her early education took place in racially segregated public schools. She went on to earn her bachelor of arts degree in English from Stanford University and her master of arts in English from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She completed her doctorate in the literature department from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a dissertation on author Toni Morrison. She has taught at Yale; Oberlin College; the City College of New York; the University of Southern California, Santa Cruz; and San Francisco State University.
Her many books include Ain’t I a Woman?, which has gained widespread recognition as an influential contribution to postmodern feminist thought. A prevalent theme in her most recent writing is the community and communion, the ability of loving communities to overcome race, class, and gender inequalities.
In three conventional books and four children's books, she suggests that communication and literacy (the ability to read, write, and think critically) are crucial to developing healthy communities and relationships that are not marred by race, class, or gender inequalities.
hooks also continues to investigate and embrace her spirituality, namely Buddhism, which has a significant influence on her writings and methodologies.